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Parents want a crossing over ceremony but not joining a Troop

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I was at a Troop Committee meeting (helping with training) where an interesting situation came up.


There is a Pack with 3 WEBELOS ready to get their AOL.


Only one will be joining the Troop but the parent of the other 2, who have made it clear they will not be moving on to Boy Scouts, want the full crossing over ceremony done by the Troop.


The Troop gives any boy joining a handbook, Troop Necker, slide and shoulder loops.


The committee was split on what to do.

Some wanted that if they are not joining Boy Scouts they shouldnt be doing the crossing over ceremony.

Other said that if the parents wanted the full ceremony they should plan and run it themselves.


What was finally settled is that the Troop would include the WEBELOS in the ceremony but the parents had to supply everything else as the Troop wont pay for the items for a boy that is not joining the Troop.


What would you have done?



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I would explain that "crossing over" means "into a BS Troop". Just like they will not get an Eagle COH if they have not actually earned the honor by the time they are 18.


They are eligible (I assume) for the AOL ceremony, which can/should be done separately. To get to "cross over" would require a completed BS app.


Parents these days...sheesh. I'm beginning to see it in the workplace, too...people who want awards and honors just for showing up most every day.

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We used to give all the items you noted at the cross over ceremony. Now we give the handbood at the first troop meeting the boy attends.


We provide all the rest, provided the boy complete an application and pays a troop resgistration fee. This covers the cost of the items noted. The registration fee is waved the following year at re-charter time if the boy is still active in the troop. Essentially we have them pre-pay for their registration for the following year. If they're active, they get registered. If they're not, the fee pays for the neckerchief and shoulder loops.



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Yah, I've been seein' this a lot lately, eh?


Used to be that AOL awards were given out at B&G's or at a separate AOL ceremony. Then at a different time and place (often a camporee or troop event) a crossing over ceremony was held for the boys who were continuin' on in Boy Scouting.


Nowadays, I see a lot of combined B&G & AOL ceremonies, with a crossover held at the Pack level as part of those things. Was there some change to the Cub materials I missed which started promotin' crossovers as part of da pack award ceremonies?


My feelin' is if the lad isn't joining, he doesn't cross over. Certainly a troop shouldn't be spendin' its money on materials for him. But yeh have to look at each case, whether you can use the event to "set a hook" for a particular boy, whether the thing is so over-the-top-hyped that a lad will be completely left out of the fun of the event if he doesn't participate. All that stuff.




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Ask Andy over on USScouting Service Project gets this question every so often.


He calls it the "bridge to Nowhere".


As someone noted, the purpose of the crossover/bridging ceremony is for crossing the boys over to a troop. Not going to a scout troop? then there is no reason to participate in a crossover ceremony.


Separate the AOL ceremony from the crossover ceremony. Do them on separate nights or the like.


What are these parents thinking????



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I absolutely agree with Beavah. Give him his AOL on the near side of the bridge, and then he sits down. Period. The bridge is a symbol of his crossing to the next program.


Scouting has already lost that boy and his parents, so it doesn't matter that they're not happy about it.



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I wouldn't cross them over as again it's symbolic of the progression. Give them just the AOL.


recently I had just the opposite reaction. The Scout and family had moved and they found a troop nearby. But they returned for one last pack meeting to get the AOL. they didn't want a Crossover b/c the new troop wouldn't be able to be a part of the Crossover. I had to sit down and explain why the crossover is so important: Symbolic progression, and example to CS on the Trail. We got the scout and parent to agree to let the OA do a Crossover as well.


As for why the two ceremonies are combined, well once you get the AOL, you move along to BS. Only reasonto hang around is to get all activity badges, and most folks arre ready to go on the BS.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Let me take the other side on this issue. I think it is okay to welcome all the Web IIs to boy scouts by letting them walk across the bridge at a crossover ceremony. Troops I've had participate in my pack's BG will have the green loops to give the scouts...even those that don't join their troop or any troop for that matter. They don't give other items usually. Last Saturday, one troop gave a numeral patch to those that joined their troop in addition to the loops.


For those scouts that don't immediately join a troop, allowing them to crossover with their fellow Web IIs sends the message that these scouts are still welcome. I've had parents lie about their son joining a troop to get the scouts to show up and not really join, too. So we cross all Web IIs over to boy scouts and don't require all to join scouts. We always have scouts joining a troop so there is always 1 or more troops at our ceremony. About 60% stay at in boy scouts after a year including those that said they weren't joining scouts.


I didn't join scouting myself until 7th grade at age 12 and earned Eagle at 14. And I have been active in one form or another for 20 years. I remind these parents whose sons don't join boy scouts that their sons are welcome to join boy scouts next year or later when their son's interests change, sports teams are harder to make and they are looking for a place that is familar, fun with a positive influence on their son. Often this generation of kids is "overscheduled" as a friend of mine says. Keeping the door open is important...I don't want to be seen as closing it to these boys. They'll crossover with their fellow Web IIs and if they don't join a troop, think about what they are missing and not feel excluded.


I think being too dogmatic on these issues like who crosses over turns many parents off to scouting...which in reality means we lose the boy.



Cubby's Cubmaster


PS...I know I'm taking a minority view here...so be easy on this junior forum member.

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I'll add my vote:


The AoL is an important Cub award. It's presentation should be seperate and distinct and as ceremonial (if not more so) as any other Cub award. Do them collectively at the B&G if possible, otherwise at another Pack Meeting. I have often seen the CM include something personal ( Scout coin, a small custom made arrow or plaque) to the Cub along with the AoL patch and Scout strip.

If the boy (I suppose the parents do have a part in making this decision?) decided to join Boy Scouts, then a "Bridging" ceremony is held to pass the boy from the Cub Pack to the Scout Troop. There definitely needs to be a Scout presence (SM, ASM, OA team?) to solemnify the occasion and make it "official". If the boy did NOT choose to continue onto Boy Scouts, then he does not participate. He sits and watches his friends solemnify THEIR choice.


The purpose of the "Bridging" does NOT symbolize graduating from Cub Scouts. That is a seperate issue. I have known Packs that hold a seperate "Cub Graduation" ceremony. That might be appropriate here, but not a "Bridging" as if all of the Cubs are becoming full fledged Boy Scouts.


Arrow of Light equals Cub Scouting's highest rank.

Cub Graduation equals aging out, having accomplished all one can do in Cub Scouting.

Bridging equals Cub Scouts joining Boy Scouts .


That's as I see it. Them's the cherces. Pays yer money.


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As a boy I was only a Boy Scout for a year. The Troop dissolved. I did not want to go to a neighboring Troop. I guarantee I read my Boy Scout book one heck of a lot more than my soon to be Life Scout son. As the SM, I would say I read that book more than most of "my" Scouts.


$10 to put a book in the hands of a young man is not alot to do. They may come back. I would not have the Cub walk the bridge and be received on the other side.


My question is why do the parents want it?

AsK them, I think you have a "right" to know.

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Question is "What are the Cub Scouts Crossing Over to?" Webelos are still Cub Scouts, although we are preparing them for Boy Scouts. Yes they can and do take on some aspects of Boy Scouts, i.e. Activity badges instead of MBs, they can either use their CS den number or use a BS patrol medallion, they go camping more, etc. But they are still CUB SCOUTS registered with a PACK. They still have adult den leaders supervising them and organizing activities.


A Crossover Ceremony, whether done by the OA or a troop is the CUB SCOUT crossing over into BOY SCOUTS. It is supposed to be youth organized and run. It's a symbolic progression, thus the removal of blue loops and webelos neckers and colors in most ceremonies. Also the new Scout is given items he will need in his scouting career: hanbook, new loops, troop necker, etc.


So why should a Crossover Ceremony be done if the boy is not going into Scouts. If the boy decides later on to join Boy Scouts, most troops I've been affiliated with have some sort of Investiture ceremony for that purpose.

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We have the cross-over ceremony for all the Webelos who have earned their Arrow of Light. One Pack we draw from does this the Pack meeting after their B & G. The other holds their B & G a month later and the boys cross over then.


Earning the AOL requires one to fill out a Boy Scout app if I rece=all correctly. We give troop neckercheifs and books to the boys that cross over and pay. The others are crossing out of Cubs, but going nowhere.

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When I was Cub Master I remember the same kind of issues. We also had the complication of Scouts going to different Troops in the same ceremony at the end of the B & G.


The Webelos parents had to complete the transfer form ($1) to cross. period.


The pack "bought" the Boy Scout handbook as a "going away gift and presented it just before the Webelos crossed the bridge. I think I said something like "....as you have helped the Pack go, now we would like to help you grow beyond Cub Scouts..." with all the popcorn sales Cubs usually do, $ was not an issue.


Most times we even encouraged Webelos I & II's to have "accounts" to build up for the 1st year of Boy Scout Summer Camp. Usually the Spring Sale and a Wreath Sale was usually left to them.


Now the Troop my son joined had a cool "candle" ceremony, that included loops and a necker tied with a simple square knot. The other Troop did the necker and loops, but had no "candle" ceremony.


I know the boys that went with the "no candle" Troop looked a little forlorn without a candle,....but that's what that Troop wanted to. As they cross the bridge, it's a Troop ceremony.


No transfer form ($1), no cross.


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Gee whiz, this isn't some sacred rite, like being ordained. It's not even an official part of the program. Whether the kid is crossing over or crossing out isn't that big a deal.


Our pack combines AoL and Crossover. In instances where a boy didn't complete AoL, he stayed in his seat for that part of the ceremony and was called up after the AoL ceremony and before the crossover part and crossed over with the rest of his den.


When the boys cross over, they cross the bridge and are given new shoulder tabs, troop hat and necker, shake hands with all the Scouts and Scoutmasters and then fall in line with the troop (or troops as the case may be.) If the boy isn't joining a troop, he walks across the bridge, still shakes hands, but keeps going and sits with his parents. No big deal, no one is singled out.


We had crossover Friday with both situations and two troops (one Webelos had moved to a neighboring town and joined a troop there.) The only issue is for the Senior Patrol Leaders to know who is who and directs the boys to the proper troop or to his seat.

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